If you are a household plant lover, there is a high likelihood that you may have heard about the Monstera Siltepecana. It is pretty hard to miss it due to its elegance and its stunning features. It steals many people’s admiration, making it a favorite for many.
It is also quite versatile and an easy-to-grow indoor plant that you will love. The best part about it is that it does not develop fenestrations until the leaves are fully matured, unlike the common swiss cheese plants, and when they do, they are closer to the vein than the edges.
Below is a comprehensive guide on how to take care of the houseplant Monstera Siltepecana.
|Botanical Name||Monstera siltepecana|
|Common Name||Monstera siltepecana Matuda, Silver Monstera|
|Size||With provided support the vine will continue to grow|
|Pet Friendly||No. Toxic to pets|
Monstera Siltepecana Origin
The Monstera Siltepecana plant is of the Araceae family, native to Mexico and Central America. It was first discovered in 1950. The Araceae family (the Calla family) consists of more than 50 species. It is the rarest out of the different types of Monstera in the world.
The species name is derived from the Latin word monstrous, which means gigantic. It refers to the size of the leaves, which are quite large with unique cuttings.
The Monstera Siltepecana has lush green leaves with silvery patches and dark green veins, making them great for the indoors to flaunt their fantastic foliage. It is also referred to as Silvera Monstera due to its unique silvery leaves in its juvenile form.
It is also commonly called a swiss cheese plant due to the holes in its leaves that look like Swiss cheese. However, this name is usually used for other species, such as the Montera deliciosa.
How to Care for Monstera Siltepecana
Monstera Siltepecana is a very versatile plant; hence it can be grown in numerous ways. You can try to grow it in a hanging basket, a terrarium, or even make it climb up a support.
However, it is crucial to note that the juvenile form is more suited to the terrarium, while its more mature form will grow well if given sturdy support such as a large branch.
Monstera Siltepecana is also a low-maintenance plant. Below are some of the vital aspects of its care that should be adhered to;
Light and Temperature
Suitable light exposure is crucial to the Monstera Siltepecana plant growth. The plant is usually tolerant of various light such as bright light and full shade. It is, however, vital to expose it to bright and indirect sunlight to help it get lush foliage.
You can also expose it to a few hours of direct sunlight, but not too much of it, as long hours of direct exposure can burn the plant in the long run. You can try to diffuse the windows in the house that are too shiny and harm the plant with sheer curtains or blinds. These will help protect the leaves from burning.
Also, the morning hours of sunlight are highly recommended as the solar radiation is not too intense at that time of the day. If your house does not get a lot of direct sunlight, you can use fluorescent artificial growing lights.
The ideal temperature for the Monstera Siltepecana plant is between 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is where the plant thrives the most and fastest. However, it can also do well in lower temperatures, but not for very long. During periods of frosty nights or scorching heat, it is advised to check the plant’s location to a more convenient spot.
Monstera Silitepecana is a native of terrestrial rain forests; hence they need lots of water to grow well. However, this does not mean that the soil should be continuously moist, as it will make it rot and destroy it. This is because, a much as it is a tropical plant, it is also partially epiphytic.
A tip to check the water needed is to check the upper 3 inches of the soil with your finger. If you find that the upper layer is dry, then there is a need to water it. Water the plant until water starts coming out of the drainage hole. After that, clean the excess water and let the plant thrive. As a general rule, water the plant at least once a week.
Humidity is also a crucial aspect of the Monstera Siltepecana plant. It likes high humidity, more than 50%; hence, if you notice that it has yellow leaves, ensure that you water it well and increase the air humidity. To increase the humidity of the plant;
- Ensure that the plants are placed densely together as it will increase their humidity.
- Use a pebble tray filled with water beneath the plant. It will provide moisture to the plant.
- Spray the leaves of the plant daily.
- Invest in a humidifier.
- You can change the location of the plant to your bathroom, as it is naturally humid.
A house plant fertilizer is a great option to use when diluted with water to half strength. You can also use a slow-release fertilizer which comes in small round balls with numerous color choices.
It is recommended to fertilize once a month in summer and spring, the growing season, and reduce it during winter and autumn periods. Also, spread the fertilizer 6 inches away from the plant’s base and not use cheap salts, as they will kill the plant slowly. It is also crucial to use fertilizers that have potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
The Monstera Siltepecana plant produces white spathes with ruffled edges during growing seasons. Spathes are not flowers, but modified leaves for pollination.
If the vines grow too long or uneven, you can prune them. Doing so makes the plant looks neater and even healthier. The Monstera Siltepecana thrives very fast as the velocity of growth is pretty high. Therefore, you will need to prune it more regularly than your other house plants.
There are no particular indications that you should prune your plant. You can therefore do so when the leaves start wilting or when you want to reshape them. Also, it is vital to note that the right place to cut the leaf off is where the pedicle connects to the scape.
This plant grows quite fast; hence they will outgrow their pot quite quickly. It is, therefore, crucial to keep checking the drainage holes to see if the roots are trying to escape. This is the most definite sign that the plant lacks the proper space it needs and needs to change to a bigger pot. If you don’t, then the roots will intercross and cut one another; hence, the soil’s importation of nutrients to the leaves will be halted.
When this happens, get a new and bigger pot for the plant. You can then put some soil mix in the first few inches. Once you take the plant out of its old pot, you will need to loosen the root ball before inserting it into the larger pot. You can then add some more soil, then tuck it in and add water to keep it moist.
Repotting should be done every 2 to 3 years, depending on the plant’s growth speed. It is also recommended to do so during spring or late summer.
This plant is prone to pest infestations. Some of the common pests that infest the plant include spider mites, scale, aphids, and mealybugs.
These are small, reddish-brown insects with spider-like bodies. They live in colonies and will be found on the leaf joints and underside of the foliage. The leaves will become brown, mottled, or curled up with yellowish marks when infested with spider mites. You can treat this using chemical pets or organic ones such as Neem Oil.
These are sap-sucking insects that prefer new growth. They work in colonies and lead to black mold growing on leaves.
These usually attack the stem and leaf joints over the foliage. They are round, flat, and relatively small. They typically do not move around and stay in one place. They also have a protective shell.
Signs of scale insects infesting your plant are yellowing leaves, white spots on leaves or branches, and leaf drop. You can use Neem Oil, insecticides, or alcohol on the plant to get rid of the scale insects. It would help if you also trimmed the infected areas.
These are little white insects that love sucking the plant sap out of leaves and stems; They are mostly found on leaves underside. These mealybugs are quite dangerous; hence when you spot them, you are advised to act fast as they can scar and damage the plant severely. They may even kill your plant, which will be a loss for you. These bugs are challenging to get rid of as they love warm and humid conditions.
To prevent an infestation, you should do the following;
- Check all the plants you buy thoroughly.
- Always check the leaves and stems of the plant every few days to spot the pests early enough.
- Keep your plants healthy as this will help them deal with the pest infestations better.
To treat pest infested Monstera Siltepecana;
If you notice that your plant is infested with pests, use the below methods for three weeks to ensure that you also get rid of the offsprings.
- Wash the upper and downside of the plants with lots of water.
- Use Castille soap that is diluted with water to wash the leaves and stems thoroughly.
- Rubbing alcohol is a vital element in dealing with pests. To do it, dilute it with water and treat the leaves and stems with the mixture.
- Use Neem Oil. It is a great solution, though it is not cheap.
Fungal diseases are also quite common. For example, Anthracnose is caused by Gloesporium and Colletotrichum. It turns the leaves yellow and then dark brown if it worsens.
Bacteria can also attack the plant and cause dark brown spots on the foliage. To prevent these diseases, prune the dead and diseased leaves and then isolate the plant. This will prevent the microbes from traveling to the other household plants. It is also advised to avoid misting the plant and instead use fungicides.
Root rots and stem rots are also caused by fungi, known as Botrytis, Rhizoctonia, or Pythium. The leaves and stems wilt, and the roots turn brown or even black, depending on the severity.
If your plant is infected, you should prune the dead leaves and roots and isolate them from other plants. You can also repot it into a clean and sanitized new pot. Fungicides are also recommended.
How to Propagate Monstera Siltepecana
Monstera Septicana is very easy to propagate. The best way to do so is from the stem cuttings. The ideal time to do so is during spring or late summer when you are repotting it. Also, avoid propagating the plant when it is dormant. The steps to follow include;
• Disinfect and sterilize your knives and scissors. It is recommended to use alcohol and hold the blade under a flame for a few seconds. This will ensure that you do not contaminate the plant.
• Take the stem cutting from below the leaf node. This is the same place you should cut when pruning. It should be done at an angle to enable it to absorb more water.
• Fill the container with water almost to the top of it. Use distilled or rainwater. However, tap water is also okay. It is recommended to use a transparent container as it will enable you to monitor the plant’s progress easily.
• Place the cutting in the container and ensure that the node is covered with water and below the waterline.
• Ensure that the plant is placed where the sunlight is not too bright and direct. Direct sunlight can stimulate algae growth, which will not be good for the plant. It should also be under warm temperature and watered regularly every 3 to 4 days. The water should also be changed every 2 to 3 days.
• Once the roots begin growing and showing visibly, you can put the plant in a pot with drainage holes.
• Use the right soil with the proper moisture. Here, it is advised to use compost as a soil amendment.
• You should then press the soil around the plant and ensure that it stands straight. Even though the plant will vine and bend over things around it once it grows bigger, you should still ensure that you plant it upright.
• Ensure that the plant is placed in the right temperature, humidity, and light, as before.
• At this point, treat the plant the same way as the mother plant. Here, you can water it appropriately and even use liquid fertilizers.
The timeline of the plant during propagation will be as follows;
• Day 1: Place the cutting in a jar of water.
• Week 1-2: Roots will begin to grow.
• Week 3-5:Shoots will begin to appear.
• 2-4 Months: Shoots will develop to form beautiful leaves and eventually form a Monstera plant.
Frequently Asked Questions about Monstera Siltepecana
Final Thoughts about Monstera Siltepecana
Monstera Siltepecana is a rare climbing plant from the Monstera genus. It is a beautiful and low maintenance plant that is great for the indoors and outdoors. However, it should not be ingested and should be avoided by kids and pets as it is toxic.
Propagation is also easy, and it comes in two forms; the juvenile form with beautiful silvery patches and the adult form with big holey leaves. You can therefore choose the form you prefer. It is also relatively expensive, but it is worth it!
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